'Rules of Engagement': Meet Adhir Kalyan

Adhir_Kalyan_Rules_of_Engagement.jpgWhen the CBS comedy "Rules of Engagement" returned for a new season on Monday, March 1, Adhir Kalyan became an official series regular, expanding his formerly recurring role as Timmy, the beleaguered assistant to eternal bachelor Russell Dunbar (David Spade).


But things are changing.


"This banter that goes back and forth," Kalyan says during a break on the "Rules" set in Culver City, Calif., "and the hard time that David's character gave mine last season ... it's more of an even playing field this year. Timmy gives as good as he gets.


"There's a love-hate dynamic where, no matter how frustrated Timmy gets with Russell, there's no question of him leaving at any point."


Timmy's trials began right in the season opener, called "Flirting."


"There are always terrible errands that he's made to go out and do," Kalyan says. "There's one in particular that involves having to fetch a cell phone from a girl's apartment after a one-night stand had by none other than Mr. Russell Dunbar. And he ends up walking into a Bible study class, which was a lot of fun to do.


"(The girl) is obviously not as innocent as she makes out to be."


A native of South Africa , Kalyan came to American television by way of Great Britain , where he was cast in the short-lived CW sitcom "Aliens in America ." He has now been in Los Angeles for a couple of years, and while he still plays the very British game of cricket, he has expanded his sports horizons.


"Of all the American sports," he says, "baseball is my favorite. I go to a handy amount of Angels and Dodgers games out here. There are some batting cages not too far from where I live, so I spend a lot of time at the batting cages."

 

Birthplace: Durban , South Africa , on Aug. 4, making him a Leo


Cool cred: Inspired by Gandhi's autobiography, "The Story of My Experiments With Truth," Kalyan has a tattoo that reads "Veritas Lux Mea," a Latin phrase which can be translated as either "The truth is my light" or "The truth enlightens me."


TV cred: " Holby City ," "Spooks," " Fair City ," "Aliens in America " (in which he played a Pakistani Muslim teen living as an exchange student with a typical American family), "Nip/Tuck"


Movie cred: "The Eastern Bride" (2004), "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" (2009), "Fired Up!" (2009), "Up in the Air" (2009), "Youth in Revolt" (2009)

 

Favorite book: "'The Little Prince' by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It's a beautifully affecting story. I read it in school, actually, and when I read it the first time, it was in French, and it really resonated with me in this extraordinary way, that there was this novel that could appeal to children and then, in a completely different way, resonate in such a significant way with an adult audience."

 

Favorite music: "(As an aspiring director), my music tastes tend to be dependent on whether the song would work well in a soundtrack. If I listen to it, and I can imagine it in a soundtrack and see the setting, immediately it's going on my iPod. 'Shine a Light,' Rolling Stones, that's among the most played on my iPod. Love that song."

 

Favorite movie: "My favorite movie is 'On the Waterfront,' followed by pictures such as 'Apocalypse Now Redux.' 'Taxi Driver's' huge for me, because I had a chance to see it in London , 2006, 30 years after it was originally released on the big screen. Huge Scorsese fan. I'm starting to watch Billy Wilder stuff, and I'm starting to watch Frank Capra as well."